Deputy Director of Advancement and Director of Individual Giving
The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) is the largest of the Smithsonian Institution’s 19 museums and maintains the world's most expansive and renowned collection of aviation and space artifacts, encompassing all aspects of human flight, as well as related works of art and archival materials. It operates two landmark facilities that, together, welcome seven to eight million visitors a year, making it the most visited museum in the country. Since it opened in 1976, the museum has welcomed more than 350 million visitors and millions more through its outreach and education programs. The museum produces world-renowned scholarship in aviation and space history, and planetary science.
NASM is currently reimagining all 23 galleries and presentation spaces in its iconic National Mall building in Washington, D.C. to inspire a new generation of pioneers and explorers. The transformation of the museum represents an unprecedented moment in the conservation and preservation of thousands of artifacts, as well as a remarkable evolution of the museum’s immersive learning experience. The building will stay open throughout the project with phased closures and openings of its galleries, shop, IMAX theater, Planetarium, and cafe. Museum favorites will remain on display, including the 1903 Wright Flyer, Spirit of St. Louis, and the Apollo lunar module. New galleries will open on the west end of the museum beginning in 2022. With five years remaining in the overall seven-year project, NASM has embarked on a corresponding campaign to raise $250 million from individual supporters, leaders in the aerospace industry, and corporations and foundations. As of January 2020, the Transformation Campaign had secured nearly $115 million. (The museum’s previous campaign effort raised $199.7 million as part of the overall Smithsonian Campaign that concluded in 2017.)
Philanthropic support to NASM is buoyed by an extremely powerful brand as the world’s premier aviation and spaceflight museum, exceptional visibility, a highly responsive and collaborative senior leadership team, and the vision and esteemed profile of the John and Adrienne Mars Director Dr. Ellen Stofan. NASM fundraising is overseen and guided by a dedicated Office of Advancement that is regarded throughout the broader Smithsonian Institution as a model for success and frequently cited as an example of a well-operating, efficient team.
Amid an environment replete with institutional preeminence, visionary leadership, organizational investment, and tremendous opportunities for individual giving, NASM seeks candidates for Deputy Director of Advancement and Director of Individual Giving (Deputy Director). Reporting to the Director of Advancement, the Deputy Director is responsible for major gift fundraising from individuals to support the broad, ever-evolving needs of the museum, including gifts for exhibitions, education and public programs, collections, and strategic initiatives. This individual will be a central figure in leading the museum’s Transformation Campaign, a key partner to the Director of Advancement in driving the strategic direction and management of the overall Office of Advancement, and they will also have the opportunity for regular collaboration with the John and Adrienne Mars Director Dr. Ellen Stofan and members of the NASM Board. The Deputy Director will oversee the work of an already high-performing individual major gifts team comprising up to three Major Gifts Officers and an Advancement Assistant. The Deputy Director collaborates with other colleagues across the Smithsonian’s Office of Advancement and museum-wide to plan and direct fundraising strategies, including prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. The Deputy Director will personally engage in frontline fundraising, managing a portfolio of current and prospective donors capable of high-level major gifts or principal gifts. This individual must possess the leadership stature and strategic ability to be a thought partner to the Director of Advancement in planning and implementing a broad-based, fully integrated private fundraising program and to serve as proxy when necessary, as well as the ambition to grow as a leader within the organization.
Desired qualifications and experience:
- Genuine passion for and alignment with NASM’s mission, and the ability to articulate the depth and breadth of the museum’s transformation project, education initiatives, collection, research, and scholarship in a compelling manner.
- A minimum of seven years of experience in increasingly responsible development leadership positions, including significant work in individual major gifts and a sophisticated understanding of the complementary roles of various functional areas within a comprehensive advancement or development program (e.g., individual giving, institutional giving, annual giving, planned giving, stewardship, board relations). Participation in a major capital campaign is preferred, as is a background within a major cultural institution, nonprofit organization, educational institution, or other environment of similar complexity.
- Demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and direction with at least five years of supervisory experience, including experience creating and managing a budget.
- Steeped in modern philanthropy best practices, including those pertaining to research, qualification, cultivation, and stewardship, as well as face-to-face solicitations and proposals.
- Strength in developing the case for support and strategic, innovative fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives. Experience working directly with the most senior levels of an organization and the ability to effectively strategize and engage various groups and constituents.
- Hands-on experience working with sophisticated philanthropists and a track record of closing seven and eight-figure gifts, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship, as well as experience working with annual giving strategies for grooming the next generation of annual leadership and major gift donors.
- The ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about strategy and process.
- Experience identifying, nurturing, and motivating volunteers, particularly board members, and an appreciation for their role in building an effective fundraising network.
-Skill at goal setting and measuring success, and agility in addressing alternate program directions to meet goals when necessary.
- Ability and willingness to travel as necessary.
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:
Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174